German air traffic threatened to collapse


German air traffic controllers on Monday voted for strike action in support of pay demands, but negotiations with employers were still underway, their trade union said.

Some 95.8 percent of the 5,000 air controllers belonging to the GdF union voted for all-out strike action, union president Michael Schaefer said.

But the union will not decide on a strike before Tuesday when it considers a last-minute offer by management made on the eve of the vote, Schaefer said.

The union is demanding a 6.5-percent pay increase for its members, along with better working conditions.

The dispute is not just to more income, but also to the workload of air traffic controllers.

The union (GdF) negotiates for all 5,500 employees of the German Air Traffic Control – by the cleaning lady on the administrative staff to a total of about 1,800 air traffic controllers. The DFS is owned by the federal government and is represented by the coast to the Alps at 16 international airports. At regional airports there are air traffic controllers who are employed by the respective countries. The area-wide strike by air traffic controllers DFS would have repercussions across Europe, as Germany alone with the major airports Frankfurt and Munich takes a true hub function. In the GDF-history, there have been unprecedented nationwide strike.